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Michiel van Erp

 

Michiel van Erp: “It is a great honor that my film ‘I Am A Woman Now’ will be shown on the Side by Side LGBT Festival in St. Petersburg. For me it was very important to make this film last year, particularly because these women are getting older and may not be around for much longer. Their stories, experiences and constant struggle for acceptance can still be documented. Courage and daring are needed to go against the grain by deciding to put a radical halt to the life mapped out for you by your family, friends and education. With all its consequences: these women often experienced exclusion by those same loved ones, family and friends. You take a certain path that, certainly in those days, no one knew where it would lead. But what is better? To continue to ignore your greatest desires or to act on them?

We now live in a confusing society, certainly in terms of sexuality. In my home country, transsexuality has become a reasonably accepted phenomenon. At the same time, hard-fought sexual freedoms are now under discussion again. In ‘I am a Woman Now’  I  document the stories and the living conditions of five old transsexuals, possibly as inspiration for a younger generation. It is important never to forget that not all the values in today’s society have been achieved without a struggle.Hopefully the themes and portraits in my movie will inspire the audience and change broaden the Russian perspective on this controversial subject.”

Join Michiel van Erp after the screening of I am a Woman Now

In 1996, Michiel van Erp started his career as a documentary maker with ‘Lang Leve...’ (‘Long Live…’), a documentary series of 59 episodes for television about Dutch people and their hopes and desires. He won national and international prices with these series. His long documentary ‘A Funfair behind the Dikes’ (2007), about the leisure industry in the Netherlands, was a huge success in Dutch cinemas and was shown at many film festivals around the world.  In 2009 the documentary ‘Fear’ followed. This movie about people struggling with various anxiety disorders caused quite a stir when it was released in Dutch cinemas. Van Erp’s films cover many subjects, for example  ‘On Beauty and Fall’ (2009) about the famous photographer Erwin Olaf, and ‘Beatrix, Queen’ (2009) a portrait of the Dutch queen Beatrix and her namesakes. He also wrote a book about his experiences, he makes television series and directs theatre plays.
Van Erp’s most recent international documentary ‘I Am A Woman Now’ (2012) covers the first generation of transsexuals, who had their sex change in Casablanca back in the 1950s to 1970s. This film has been was rewarded with a honorable mention at the Frameline Festival in San Francisco and received the Special Programming Award for Freedom at the Outfest Festival in Los Angeles.

 

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